It’s time for the big reveal at last! With careful planning, thoughtful design and working with a great builder (Thank you Daniel and Team :)), we’ve managed to improve the liveability, as well as add value to our home in Cherrybrook. To maintain continuity, our builder made sure that the new extension blends seamlessly with our existing home by using the same materials. The finishes of our interior spaces portray a Modern Country/Colonial character and fits the exterior style of our home. The way each room flows into each other, makes entertaining a breeze and a relaxed atmosphere is present as soon as you enter our home (which immediately dissipates when greeted by Chloe, our rescue dog). We can’t be happier with the end result.
Our renovation has finally come to an end. We can now move freely around our home without leaving muddy tread marks all over the timber floors, we’re cooking in the kitchen instead of the garage and the bar has had an initiation of note! It’s time to reveal the much anticipated new extension. We’re extremely happy with the end result and can’t believe we can finally share the first images of the exterior. Next week, we’ll show you how the interior of the new extension turned out.
Decorating your home according to your own tastes and style is a must if you want to feel truly at home and relaxed. Diving into your own personality and sensibility is the key to pinpointing your inner interior designer and surfacing it. Therefore, don’t feel pressured about anything and allow yourself some time and research in order to reach the peak of your inspiration and creativity when it comes to home décor.
ADEQUATE LIGHTING SOLUTION
Every room deserves its own lighting style. In that respect, there’s no need to limit yourself to only a few lighting styles and options. Also, these days you don’t have to sacrifice functionality over the looks and vice versa, when it comes to lighting. You can easily check out some creative picks for lighting online and find even more than you hoped for. In general, don’t underestimate the power of light for your interior décor. It can make the whole home a lot warmer, brighter and pleasant to be in.
SEARCH FOR INSPIRATION
The best thing about modern age is that you don’t have to do everything yourself. There are magazines on interior design that could help you find your perfect style for décor. Websites such as Pinterest, are teaming with ideas and pictures that can motivate you to reorganize, repurpose and utilize many different things and items that you thought useless.
CAREFUL WITH COLOURS
Colours can always make the space warmer and more pleasant, but if you want to change the whole colour scheme of your décor, you should think it through first. If you’re set on changing everything, from your furniture and accessories colour to wall paint and/or wallpaper, you can make a big change like this, work. But, if you only want to play with the colours of your decorative details or repaint the walls, keep it relatively simple and make sure that the new colours won’t clash with the old scheme beforehand.
Nothing can make the interior more unique and decorative than statement pieces. You might not think that you’re ready for this step, but be brave and at least try one statement piece in your décor. It doesn’t have to be anything extravagant. There has to be something that you found very appealing while looking through the magazines and blogs, but your own comfort zone prevents you from acting on it. Taking a step forward is very important in both your life and home décor, so don’t be afraid to experiment.
BEAUTIFUL AND EFFICIENT LAYOUT
When you start decorating, the process itself can sometimes become overwhelming. This is especially true for various accessories that you find likeable. But remember, too many bits and bobs scattered around your rooms can create a lot of mess and, in that way, cause the impression of chaos and clutter. Therefore, don’t go overboard with accessories. Strategically placed details will make the home shine from the inside but you still need to achieve the effiency and functionality of the room layout.
TRENDS NOT A MUST
If you find that the current interior design trends are not all to your liking, do not feel pressured to use them as your own home décor. If you happen to love the contemporary home design trends, that’s great! But the most important thing about the look of your place is to represent your own self. And if modern design trends simpoly do not cut it in this respect, feel free to skip them.
Decorating your home, picking out different designs and accessories, choosing colours and all that jazz should be a fun and engaging process that soothes your soul and mind. That being said, you don’t have to rush things. Take it slowly, at your own pace. If you force the task before you, you might end up with a result you don’t like.
We have a great arrangement with our neighbours. When they go on holiday, we look after their dog and have use of their beautiful pool. Our kids usually couldn’t wait for them to go away and when they were little, they would put on their goggles and swimwear, open the blinds in their room for the world to see, and watch the neighbours pack their car for the holiday. Understandably, this became a bit embarrassing at times, so we thought we should consider putting in our own pool, just to give our neighbours a rest 🙂
Of course, putting a pool into a small backyard, isn’t as easy as you might think. Over the next few weeks, I’ll show you a few obstacles we’ve had work around, as well as how the extension of our home has progressed. Have a look at the First Phase, to see a bit of background of the area we live in, the history of our house and what we’ve planned for the entire project. For now, we’ll start with our plans for the backyard and what it looked like before we started…
To see what we’ve done to the interior, follow the links below:
Take it from someone who’s been through a renovation: The planning part of a renovation is a lot more fun than the actual renovation. Especially if you decide to stay put during the entire process. I can deal with builders at my door at 7 each morning (they’re extremely punctual), I can deal with the noise, the constant digging, the removal of walls, roofs and ceilings, BUT… when they rip out your kitchen, things get real very quickly…
As the hour didn’t allow for any other beverages, I farewelled the kitchen with a cup of tea and a friend. I know that you secretly think there’ll be lots of time to remove kitchen utensils to set up elsewhere. THINK AGAIN! These guys are pretty quick. They demolished that entire kitchen, floor tiles included, quicker than it took me to pack everything up.
Hard to imagine a brand new kitchen in this mess! After months of planning, one can only hope that it will turn out the way we imagined.
Mmm, this is our best efforts at building a new kitchen – it’s our set-up in the garage for the next 6 weeks (possibly longer…). As you can see, we have somewhere to sit and have dinner, we have a fridge, microwave, storage, but most importantly, we have wine… If you’d like any recipes for cooking in an electrical frying pan, please give me a call 🙂
Next week, I’ll show you the progress in the kitchen. If you’d like to see how we changed some of the other rooms in our house, follow the links below.
Most people fail when they try to decorate in the Hampton’s style. Why?
We visited a new client this week, and she loves the Hampton Style for her project. So I thought maybe I will share the Hampton’s style with everyone today.
Two key features are usually overlooked when decorating Hamptons:
GO ALL THE WAY HAMPTON’S – or give up now. It’s about creating the style throughout your home, and not a theme you create in your living room only. Hampton’s style is creating an overall timeless look for your entire home, that represents a classis, sophisticated look. Don’t combine it with other styles in your home, as it wants to be the hero. Hampton’s is not a theme, but a lifestyle. It’s also important to have a lot of natural daylight in your home.
INVEST IN HIGH END ITEMS – after all, the Hamptons style originate from the upper class elite and their holiday region in Long Island, New York. Not some beach town somewhere in nowhere.
Two focal points all Hampton styled homes must have:
DRAMATIC ENTRANCE – Hamptons style insists on making a first impression. Either you have a beautiful staircase, or a double volume entrance hall with a huge pendant light. If you can add a small table with a huge bunch of fresh flowers that look like your butler has just arranged it, you’ve got a winner!
HAMPTONS KITCHEN – The kitchen forms the centre point of the Hamptons design style. It will define the style for the rest of your entertainment areas. It’s actually easy to create a Hamptons kitchen with just a few elements, e.g. panelling or shaker doors, white subway tiles, crisp white finishes and glass pendant lights.
Walls & Floors:
Stick to white walls as far as possible (Dulux Natural White is great, as it has a soft undertone)
Add some white wall panelling for character if you can.
Timber floors (of course) work well with either a white washed look or a deep chocolate brown colour.
Add natural rugs like sisal or jute.
Hamptons love dramatic but neutral curtains. You can also go for white plantations shutters or white sheer curtains.
Furniture & Accessories:
Linen upholstery – a must have!
Add wicker or cane elements – High End pieces of course, because wicker can quickly look cheap and worn if not quality products.
Mix old and new furniture, but in a classy way. Timber furniture must still have a classical style, but be freshly painted, in good working condition and timeless. Here you can save a lot of money if you have a keen eye for second hand furniture.
Add accessories like driftwood, a few (only a handful) of shells, glass jars, a butler’s tray and a little bit of bling. It must still be stylish, even though it does not have to be expensive. Think high end… Not your uncle’s old marine rope in his shed or an anchor you bought on gumtree. Keep that for your nautical style beach house…
Down lights are not really Hamptons style, but we all need them. Make sure you alternate the down lights with a few pendant lights, especially with glass and iron features.
Don’t feel overwhelmed, just remember that the Hamptons style does not mean you need to overspend, but it definitely means you need to think carefully that each item has meaning and has a flair for the high end. Proper planning is essential, and it’s best to choose Hamptons if you have a clean slate to work from.
Enjoy lying on your sun loungers with your cocktails in your Hamptons house! (Hopefully there is also a butler and pool boy to keep you company!)
Let’s be realistic, most of us don’t keep our homes tidy 100% of the time. We stress and fuss for hours before friends come over, very aware of any specks of dust or an unclean dish. Today, I want to put your mind at ease, as friends notice different things to what you may think. Here they are:
THE SMELL FACTOR
You may have become “nose blind” to the smell of your dog, the garlic prawns you cooked the night before and the cupboard full of sweaty sneakers in your entry way, but your guests have not! Make sure you close cuboard doors with offensive items and light a lovely smelling candle well before they arrive.
Although all friends might not demand a mojito as soon as they enter the door, make sure you have the basics ready to soothe parched mouths. Red and white wine, a few beers, a vodka chaser (my friends, not yours) and some soft drinks (for nobody I know) will settle even the most demanding of guests.
Nothing beats a vase of fresh flowers or a potted plant to detract from dust at your home. A pretty orchid is a great investment as it lasts for months if you look after it well (the fake ones even longer… 🙂
LACK OF CLUTTER
Your guests will (hopefully!) not run their finger along skirting boards or look under your sofas. What they will notice, is dirty dishes in your living room, jackets draped over sofas and magazines or books strewn over a coffee table. Your visitors will not poke around uninvited through your home, so chuck all clutter into a room that can lock and throw away the key for the time being! I’ve been known to hide dirty dishes in the oven (a special trick I learnt from my mother) and embrace the space in the garage. My car hasn’t slept in it for months 🙂
Your friends will need to use the bathroom while in your home, so make sure it’s tidy, clean and has enough toilet paper. It should have a deodorising spray, as well as a privacy lock. No one likes to cut off in mid stream when surprised in the bathroom.
ORGANISED ENTRY WAY
It’s enevitable that you’ll have piles of shoes (especially when you have kids), sport bags, umbrellas, mail, keys, etc in your entry way. If you don’t have a hall table with drawers or a shoe cupboard, find a good hiding spot (even if it’s under a bed) for everything, before guests arrive. Create a space for guest to leave their umbrellas, jackets or shoes (which is not under the bed with all your stuff) when they enter the house.